Friday, 4 September 2015

HOW TO APPLY FOR A TIER 2 (GENERAL MIGRANT) UK VISA FOR PHILIPPINE PASSPORT HOLDERS?

This is an echo introduction from my previous POST, but really, all the #feels are the same! If you've had any experience on anything visa-application related, you'll probably agree with me that it's such a heart-stopping moment! It doesn't matter whether it's your first time or 5th time, there's just this element of tingly-wingly-in-your-tummy-feeling that's incessantly there until you receive your passport back!

Firstly, allow me to share with you guys that I've received my approved Tier 2 General Migrant visa! Thank you LORD! I won't lie, it's not an easy feat but with the right amount of determination and God's favour, it's possible!

Since last year (2014), I have applied for 3 business visas separately. One for my visit on April 2014, October 2014 and May 2015. After such, the Company and I have decided it's much better to apply for a Tier 2 visa, moving forward. There are different categories for Tier 2 visa but for this blog entry, I'm referring such as a General Migrant visa.


 THE REQUIREMENTS
Quite surprisingly, the necessary documents for a Tier 2 visa are not as detailed as when you're applying for a tourist or business visa. Here are they:


  1. Current passport (should be 6 months valid)
  2. Passport sized photgoraph
  3. Bank statement with an average daily balance of £945 (around Php 70,000) for the last 90 days
  4. IELTS Exam Certificate
  5. Tuberculosis (TB) Results
  6. Certificate of Sponsorship (COS) number

Notes: 
  • For the bank statement, I just asked Banco de Oro for a usual bank certificate and attached it on the documents I've submitted. I queried the teller if it's okay for them to convert my balance into British Pounds (£) but they said they're following a strict format so I conceded. Anyways, they'll be forwarding an email to the British Embassy so that should be good.
  • Also, still on the bank statement - I printed out a currency conversion on a separate sheet and converted the amount myself (make sure you convert the correct amount!). I included that as part of my attachments as well.
  • For IELTS exam certificate, I took mine in Regents University in London. I got the certification from the British Council IELTS. 
  • You have to take the TB test in IOM Makati Philippines. I had mine tested in the UK, however, I was told that I needed to undergo another as they don't validate x-rays from other facilities.
  • Last but never the least, the COS! This is the most important, I should say. Your employer needs to apply to the UK Home Office for such and once approved, you'll be given a number by which you'll need on your application online.



THE PROCESS
Unlike my previous business visa applications, travel agents are not much of use in here. Sir Edgar told me so, himself and he's right. Here are the details:

  1. Once you've completed all the documents you need to register to this site: https://www.visa4uk.fco.gov.uk/account/register.
  2. I suggest that you fill these up and save it first. Then before submission, have someone to sit beside you just to make sure you have a second eye. In my case, I've had a webex with my boss and true enough, some details need updating!
  3. You need to pay for an international health surcharge (IHS). In my case, I paid $902 via credit card. You can't move forward to the next steps without paying this.
  4. Print your form in PDF and select your schedule for your biometrics appearance.

You need to go to VFS for your biometrics. Like before, bring all your documents (original and photocopy) to avoid any hassles. Tips: 
  • Avail for an SMS tracking service (Php 150) so you'll be in the know where are you on your application process.
  • Arrive 30 minutes before your scheduled appearance. PH traffic can be crazy as we all know so the earlier, the better.
  • The whole process takes about 20-30 minutes.

THE TIMELINE
I opted for a regular processing this time since I have plenty of weeks before my projected flight date. Here are my timeline:

  • Jul 17 - Completed my online application
  • Jul 22 - Went to VFS for my appearance
  • Aug 6 - Received an email and SMS that my documents are ready for pick-up
  • Aug 7 - Received my approved visa, passport and original documents

You will receive a letter along with an approved UK clearance visa on your passport. When you get here in London, you need to claim your Residency ID. You have the say on where you want to pick this up (or if you want the UK Home Office to send it by post). You'll indicate this when you fill out your online application.

By the time I am finishing this post, I'm typing on my flat in London. I arrived last 26th August and got my residency ID on the 27th. I hope you learned something new from this post. I wish you well on your application! -CMK

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1 comment

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